Sunday, August 21, 2016

Canada is BIG

We love what we are doing in Canada. We are serving in the Grande Prairie Stake to help YSA take hold. The Grande Prairie Stake has 4 wards, 5 branches.

In Grande Prairie there are two of the wards. The Wapiti and Bear Creek Wards. The Young Single Adults, YSA, from both wards meet together on Monday nights for Family Home Evening, FHE. We go and be with them. There are 5 or 6 kids who are regular attenders. About 14 others come, not at the same time, when work allows. Three of the number have now gone South to attend school. South is Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, or the States. We have a list of potential YSA who have stopped coming. We are trying to find them and tell them we are meeting and having fun. We are also trying to have a monthly activity in addition to FHE. Another part of our mission is to organize YSA in the other 2 wards and 5 branches.

We did find out just this week that Fort St. John Ward, in British Columbia, has a functioning YSA Group. They have 4-8 attend depending on work schedules. However, two of their number are going South to school. A few of those kids live an hour away from the church, and can't make it every time. Long travel is pretty much the norm in Grand Prairie Stake.

One of the favorite things we do is give rides to the Wapiti Elders and the Bear Creek Sisters when we go to District Meeting once every transfer. (About 6 weeks.) All the other times we have District Meetings via Skype. Having them ride with us saves both companionships some "klicks". (Kilometers put on their cars.) The first time we drove to Fort St. John. It was a full day.

Our District is the Elders from Wapiti Ward, and the Elders from Dawson Creek Ward.
The Sisters are from Bear Creek Ward, and Fort St. John Ward. The Fort St. John Sisters drive a truck.

This is a park in Dawson Creek, B.C. at mile post 0 of the Alaskan Highway. It is on the way to Fort St. John. Our second time going to District meeting just last week, was at Dawson Creek.

This is the Railroad Museum in Dawson Creek, B.C. It was a stop to use the washroom. There are no rest stops along many highways of Canada. You look for visitor's centers.

This is the sign welcoming us to British Columbia. Alberta doesn't have a place like this when coming back. There are lots and lots of rocks strewn in this area. People write their names on them and put where they are from and the date they passed through.

We did take a short side trip to see, and drive, on this old bridge still in use along the old Alaskan Highway. It goes to a Provincial Park in British Columbia.

OK, we did show you a map of the Grand Prairie Stake in one of the first blogs. We have both worked at this, doing the math, and using Google. Here is a repeat of the first map, in color this time. And two other maps.

This is a map of half of our mission. the little inset in the bottom corner shows all of North America. The red portion is the area of the Canada Edmonton Mission. Pretty amazing isn't it. It is the largest mission by area in the Church.

This is the same map as the first time showing the area of the Grande Prairie Stake. The circles with plus signs are the locations of wards and branches. The kind of empty areas have members scattered. 
Some of the areas are forests. 

I'm sorry the lines are so light, and Hudson Bay is messed up. But this map is traced from a map to show the scale. The Grande Prairie Stake is roughly the same size as Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. We were shocked to realize this scale. 

The distances are:
Grand Prairie to Valley View 1 h 10 min.
Grand Prairie to Dawson Creek 1.5 h
Grand Prairie to Fort St. John 2.5 h
Grand Prairie to Fairview 1h 20 min
Grand Prairie to Peace River 2 h 20 min
Grand Prairie to High Prairie 2 h 40 min
Grand Prairie to High Level    281 miles    4 h 35 min.
Grand Prairie to Fort Smith, NWT 644.8 miles 10h 42 min. to Watson Lake
Grand Prairie to Hay River, NWT 476.4 miles 7 h 47 min.
Grand Prairie to Fort Nelson, BC, 363.8 miles 6h 5 min
Grand Prairie to Fort Resolution NWT 565.1 miles 10h 4 min.
Grand Prairie to Whitecourt, 173.7 miles 2 h 45 min.
Fort Smith to Watson Lake (top boundary of mission) 1141.8 mile, 16 h 36 min.
Western boundary is continental divide a little farther south from Jasper National Park.

Grande Prairie to Yellowknife 725.2 miles 12 h 7 min.
Yellowknife to Slave Lake 196.8 miles 3 h 13 min.
435.7 miles 6 h 50 min to Lloydminster
378.9 miles 6 h 6 min to St. Paul

Distance by crow fly
Length x width
Utah is 350 miles x 270 miles
Colorado 380 x 280
Arizona 395 x 340
New Mexico 370 x 342

Grand Prairie Stake is 750 x 624 the same size as UT, AZ, CO, NM

Now we are glad we didn't bring the Suburban on our mission. It only has 124,000 miles, but is 20 years old. Our mechanic just didn't want us in some wide open space in the middle of nowhere, stranded. We feel that was a tender mercy. And, the mileage wouldn't have been too good. 

People here are just so used to driving long distances. Of course when they travel 5 hours to Edmonton to go to the Temple, they have relatives they can stay with so they don't have to drive home the same day. Then when they want to go to Calgary, Lethbridge or other places South, they have other relatives they stay with. We understand when they come to Grande Prairie for Stake Conference, people from GP open their homes for out of town people to throw out their billet. (Sleeping bags.) Meetings and activities happen on Saturday, and then the Sunday Conference. We will have a big YSA activity on Saturday night.

We love our mission. We are looking forward, even to the travelling. The countryside is beautiful. We see lots of nature and wildlife. We just don't want to find that wildlife on the highway with us. 

Keep travelling with us. Thank you for emails you send us. Don't try to mail anything. We got a picture mailed from Quinn that took 19 days to get here. Postcards from Nevyn and Delaney got here weeks after they mailed them. Jill mailed a package to us the first of August. It got to Vancouver on August 8. We still don't have it. We went to the post office to trace it. They said maybe we will get it by next weekend, 26th or 27th. Pray that we get it. We will be royally messed up if it doesn't get here.

Sister Brown, Mom, Grandma, Robyn

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